Ontario says there will be no sports games or concerts for the foreseeable future
With much of the province moving into Stage 2 of reopening this week — with the exception of 10 Public Health Units in and around the GTA — Ontarians are looking forward to getting back into places like malls, hair salons and restaurant patios after months of pandemic lockdown measures.
But, even though life for a large portion of the population will soon be that much closer to getting back to normal, there are some things that we won't get to enjoy again anytime soon, including big concerts and sports games.
The GTHA, and border areas like Niagara and Windsor will be excluded as malls, hair salons, other biz get to open Friday in areas with few or no cases of #COVID19, Ontario govt says. No gyms or fitness centres yet. Gathering limit rises to 10. No concerts, CFL or MLB. #onpoli— Rob Ferguson (@robferguson1) June 8, 2020
Though the limit for social gatherings in the province will be increased on June 12, it will be capped at only ten people — certainly not enough for any major events.
Technically, according to the details laid out by the Province for Stage 2, certain types of concert venues may be able to open "for a variety of purposes," but it seems these purposes will be limited to those that can be done as drive-in or drive-thru only.
And, the official rules reiterate that "large outdoor events, such as concerts, large festivals, parades and amusement fairs" are still not permitted during Stage 2.
In Toronto, City officials extended their moratorium on events with anywhere over 250 attendees until at least July 31, while large events of more than 25,000 people, such as music festivals, are banned until August 31 at the earliest.
And, even though these City rules don't actually apply to "the resumption or cancellation of professional sporting events," residents have no reason to hold out hope.
Though the NBA, for example, has set July 31 as the tentative date for games to resume, these games will be taking place (in Orlando) without live audiences — and this is, of course, going to be the case for some time.
The same will go for NHL games, which may be starting up again by early August.
Man, I miss Leafs games.— Kaz™️ Peters • #LeanOnMe • #TakeAKnee • #ANTIFA (@Karens_Red_Pony) June 6, 2020
Man, I miss Raptors games.
Man, I miss Blue Jays games.
Ford said at his presser on Monday that the government has been and will continue to be in talks with major sports leagues like those above, as well as the MLB and CFL, regarding future games taking place on Ontario soil.
But, even if sports leagues made the absurd decision to permit fans at games again sometime soon (which they obviously will not), according to Ontario's Framework for Reopening our Province, "large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future," even through Stage 3.
At least we'll have a little more entertainment to look forward to on TV and online.
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